Sat. Sep 21st, 2019

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The secret behind the iPhone 11 Pro’s improved battery life

2 min read

A hot potato: A vocal group of consumers have been clamoring for better iPhone battery life and with the new Pro models, they’re getting just that. It partially comes at the expense of a thicker and heavier chassis – will people be willing to make that sort of compromise after years of iPhones that continually shrunk their footprints?

Apple on Tuesday introduced a trio of new iPhones including an affordable (comparatively speaking) iPhone 11 and two Pro models. Camera improvements aside, the two Pro models deliver substantially longer battery life compared to their predecessors – up to four more hours on the iPhone 11 Pro versus the iPhone XS and up to five hours more on the iPhone 11 Pro Max compared to last year’s iPhone XS Max.

Apple would like you to think that these efficiency enhancements are a direct result of the more efficient A13 Bionic chip or perhaps improvements to its battery technology or software but the devil is in the details.

(Image courtesy TechRadar)

One thing I noticed during Apple’s presentation was that their new iPhones looked a bit chunky. Upon further inspection, I was able to confirm my suspicions. The iPhone 11 Pro measures 8.1mm thick and tips the scales at 6.63 ounces (188 grams). By comparison, the iPhone XS measures just 7.7mm chick and weighs 6.24 ounces (177 grams).

The iPhone 11 Pro Max, meanwhile, measures 8.1mm thick and weighs 7.97 ounces (226 grams) while the iPhone XS Max measured 7.7mm thick and only 7.34 ounces (208 grams).

Surprisingly enough, the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR are virtually identical in terms of thickness and weight, hence why the difference in battery life – just one hour – is far less between these two devices.

(Image courtesy TechRadar)

What I’m getting at here is that, yes, Apple did find some efficiency gains in the A13 Bionic and with software tricks. They also quietly added more depth and weight to physically accommodate for a bigger battery to realize those gains.

It’s a strategy that is in stark contrast to previous pushes to slim down the iPhone at all costs and personally, I’ll be curious to see peoples’ reactions once they realize what is happening. Will folks be willing to live with a thicker and heavier iPhone in exchange for better battery life?

Just for comparison’s sake, I went back and looked at some of the earlier iPhone models. The iPhone 6 measures just 6.9 mm thick and weighs 4.55 ounces (129 grams). The iPhone 8, which is still sticking around, is only 7.3mm thick and 5,22 ounces (148 grams).

(Masthead via Dieter Bohn, The Verge)

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